December Lecture – 2018

“The V-Bomber Force”

Thursday 13th December 2018

Lecture Starts at 7.30 pm
(Mulled Wine & Mince Pies to follow the lecture)

Speaker: Air Cdre Norman Bonnor, FRAeS FRIN RAF (Ret’d)

Location: Lecture Theatre ‘0’, Cambridge University Engineering Department, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ.

Lecture Synopsis

The talk covers the political origins of the V-Force as a result of the Cold War that became established when the Soviet Union confronted NATO in Eastern Europe.

Operational requirements to develop a British nuclear weapon, and a new bomber aircraft to carry it lead to the choice of the Valiant, Vulcan, and Victor. The talk briefly covers the numbers of aircraft built, the squadrons they served with and their Main Operating Bases in 1 and 3 Group of Bomber Command before discussing the weapons they carried, both conventional and nuclear.

The V-Force aircrews were trained to use the aircraft and the navigation and bombing equipment to meet the threat they would face when attacking strategic targets in the Soviet Union. The tactics and training had to adapt to changes in the threat as new surface-to-air missile were deployed to ensure that the V-Force remained viable as a Deterrent until its role was replaced by the Polaris submarines of the Royal Navy.


The lecture titles and dates are booked well in advance but are subject to change.